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There’s lots being made
MFG Day a chance to showcase jobs, impact

The Barton County Commission Tuesday morning approved a joint proclamation with the City of Great Bend recognizing Friday as National Manufacturing Day. Locally, this is a joint effort among the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, Great Bend USD 428 and Barton Community College. Other partners include Kansas Workforce One and Great Bend Economic Development Inc. 

Nationally, MFG Day is an initiative of The Manufacturing Institute, with the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association as a founding partner. 

The goal is simple, said chamber President Megan Barfield. Held annually on the first Friday in October, the idea is to offer students, parents and the public information on modern manufacturing. 

Events throughout the month will showcase the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging companies and schools to “open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders,” she said. 

Barfield said manufacturing is the backbone of this nation and is not going away. In fact, it is evolving, something seen here in the Golden Belt as well as around the country.

“It is just to highlight what manufacturing in the modern day is and ... show those students what it looks like,” she said.  “It’s to connect students and teachers and parents, and everybody, together to see all of the job opportunities and job shadows that are available.”  

Indeed, there are a lot of exciting job possibilities. Unfortunately, this comes at a time when many employers can’t find employees.

So, throughout October, students will tour Primus Sterilizers, Sunflower Diversified Services, Fuller Industries, T&C Manufacturing, Eldridge Fencing, Dry Lake Brewing, Superior Essex, South Bend Industrial Hemp, KMW Loaders and Doonan Specialized Trailer. They will see the diverse opportunities available.

According to the Kansas Manufacturing Council, the Kansas manufacturing industry is responsible for more than 16% of the state’s total economic output and employs more than 165,000 Kansans. Still, many in our state do not realize the impact the industry has on their communities.

So, it is hoped that this Manufacturing Day observance will spark the professional paths of some young people, as well as help the rest of us understand the value of this economic sector.

— Dale Hogg